I’ve always loved red doors, I always felt whatever was beyond them was exciting because this bright bold entry point was announcing it loud and proud! So, when we bought our new home, this derelict Parnellite cottage, I knew its new door would have to be red but I really wanted to save the original door. You see not only was it specially made for this cottage of solid mahogany, and I just love to up cycle and can’t stand waste. It also was the entry to a very much-loved home of a very special lady. Mrs Finlay lived here till she was almost 104 years of age and from the moment we first stepped over the threshold it felt like a very happy place, even in its dilapidated state! So, I knew this door would be a part of our renovations.

From the moment we got the keys to our cottage, September 4th 2017, our lives have been blessed and showered with kindness from every single person living around us. It’s been extraordinary, no matter what was needed, someone would pop up with it.

Now I’d like to think that’s just because we’re so nice !!LOL....BUT I know it’s the ‘Mrs Finlay effect’, you see she never had a family of her own but all around her were like family to her and they all have such fond memories of her and her tiny cottage. You could say they have all had a vested interest in it being brought back to life.

The journey from that day to this has been incredible and the icing on the cake for us was having all these wonderful people round to party and celebrate, the big surprise was that Mrs Finlay joined us too!!!

Well, our beautiful neighbour Joanne presented us with this gorgeous framed picture of Mrs Finlay on her 100th birthday. I have to say it really touched us deeply to finally lay eyes on the lady herself and I think you’ll agree she has the face of an angel. I feel like we’ve brought her back home again and she’ll always be a part of this special place.

So now every time I open my lovely red studio door, the door she entered so often, I think of her and thank heaven that we get to live in Finlay’s Cottage!

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